Science & Tech

Texas A&M Nuclear Chemist Will Receive SURA Distinguished Scientist Award

Southeastern Universities Research Association recognizes Sherry Yennello for expanding ‘knowledge of the forces shaping our universe.’
By Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications June 30, 2023

Sherry Yennello
Dr. Sherry Yennello

The Southeastern Universities Research Association will honor nuclear chemist Dr. Sherry Yennello of Texas A&M University with a SURA Distinguished Scientist Award at its August meeting in Washington, D.C.

SURA is a consortium of 56 universities that fosters collaborations to enhance its members’ abilities to take on significant, transformative scientific research projects that no single institution can handle independently. The Distinguished Scientist Award is given to scientists who are conducting exceptional research in disciplines related to SURA’s programs. Nominations are peer-reviewed by a committee and voted upon by SURA’s board of directors.

Yennello is University Distinguished Professor and holder of the Cyclotron Institute Bright Chair in Nuclear Science, College of Arts and Sciences. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the American Chemical Society.

“Dr. Yennello is recognized globally as a leading scientist in her field,” Texas A&M Vice President for Research Jack G. Baldauf said. “As director of Texas A&M’s Cyclotron Institute, she has made transformational contributions to the world’s understanding of nuclear reactions induced by radioactive nuclei. The research community at Texas A&M is proud to say that she is our colleague.”

In one pioneering experiment, Yennello studied how reactions can redistribute neutrons and protons inside neutron-rich nuclei. This opened a new frontier for studying the effects of the neutron-to-proton ratio on the dynamics and thermodynamics of neutron-rich matter.

Also, her study of heavy-ion reactions was crucial to deciphering a significant gravitational-wave signal observed in August 2017 by scientists in the United States and Europe. 

In addition, Yennello oversees a leading U.S. program in developing alpha-emitting radioactive isotopes, which are transforming nuclear medicine, as an effective treatment against inoperable tumors.

Read more about Yennello’s work from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Media contact: Research Communications,

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